The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has appealed to the Federal Government to expand the amnesty programme to accommodate more youths in the Niger Delta region to prevent restiveness and reduce agitations in the region.

Speaking while receiving the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Major General Paul Boroh Rtd, at the Government House in Akure, Governor Akeredolu said expansion of the current amnesty programme would accommodate majority of the unemployed youths in the two oil producing Local Government Areas of Ilaje and Ese-Odo in the state.

“So many things can be learnt around the area,let us integrate them into the amnesty programme, let us engage them and the situations will improve,” he said.

The governor said the training of youths engaged under the amnesty programme could equally be better done at the Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa which now offers courses in Marine Technology and could acquire skills in boats construction.

“Instead of sending few people abroad to study and many a time they never returned. Even sometimes, when they return, they grabble with reintegration; why can’t we make use of  our own university, which already has the facilities and courses like Marine Technology, ” the governor said.

Earlier, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, who is also the Coordinator Presidential Amnesty Programme, General Paul Boroh had said he was happy with the  relative peace existing in the state, for which he commended the efforts of the State Government.

“I’m happy to be here. Ondo State is part of our mandate areas and our responsibility is to ensure that there is peace, ” he said.

General Boroh said he was in the state because of the summit of Niger Delta National Council to see things for himself, which he said was initiated to bring lasting solution to the security situations in the region.

Officials on the entourage of the Special Adviser are: Lt. Col. Olusegun Ogundare, Chief Security Officer, office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme; Major Bernard Ochoche,Rtd. Departmental Head; Major Abdul Matti, Rtd., Head of post-Training Department; Mrs Faith Omofunma, Head of Vocational Training Department; Mr Beggi Erepatei, Senior Reintegration Officer, Peace  Building Department and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Economic Council, Mr Donald Wokoma.

Members of the Ondo State Executive Council who joined the governor to receive the visitors include: the Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi; Secretary to the Government, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde;  Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale; Mr Rasheed Badmus, Honourable Commissioner for Natural Resources; Prince Solagbade Amodeni, Honourable Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development; Otunba Adegboyega Adefarati, Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture;  Mr Donald Ojogo, Honourable Commissioner for Lands & Housing and Kola Olawoye, Esq. Honourable Commissioner for Justice.

Other officials of the state are: the Chairman, Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, Honourable Gbenga Edema and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor Security, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo.